TurnKey Linux Virtual Appliance Library

HubDNS */@ records

I recently signed up to Turnkey and activated a hub server for my Drupal installation.

I transferred all my DNS information to the HubDNS and my name servers as requested.

However there's an odd entry I need to have working.  My web presence is at "domain.one" rather than "www.domain.one" and that used to be handled by a default DNS A record *.domain.one (or possibly @.domain.one but I think that's used for something else).

I reinstated those two records on the HubDNS as they were setup before pointing to my existing server elsewhere, but they don't seem to work when they are on your HubDNS.  If I do a lookup it does not show up as an A record at all.  And so I cannot get back to my existing web site and I don't want to have to rename it as the existing address is everywhere in my public information.

Can I get a * record to work in your HubDNS system?  I'm actually in the process of changing back to my old nameserver where I know that worked, as a short term workaround, but would prefer to have everything in the same place, here at Turnkey if I can.

Cheers,

Jock Coats

Jeremy's picture

Can't say I've ever used a wildcard in DNS

And I wasn't aware that DNS supported wildcards... I don't (and haven't) used HubDNS (beyond the free tklapp.com names) so can't speak from experience with that...

How I've always done what I think you're talking about (with a couple of different nameserver providers) is make the primary A record domain.com and then I usually make a CNAME record of www.domain.com. That way both domain.com and ww.domain.com will resolve to the same server and load the home page. You can then use your Apache virtual hosts to redirect any other subdomains.

So how to set "primary A record"

...to what amounts to a null?  Or, are you saying that you can set the A record to the whole domain name?  I hadn't thought/tried that.  I've always used the wildcard to achieve it!

But I'll give your way a go and see if it is possible to set it that way.

Jeremy's picture

Not sure about my terminology...

Or the way I wrote it, what I meant was that the main entry should be an A record and any others (that point to the same server should be CNAME.

And a quick bit of research shows that wildcard DNS entries are quite valid. What I wrote above will (should?) still work, but it seems that there is an advantage to using a wildcard DNS entry - any subdomain will resolve to the server (my example only takes care of www.domain.com and domain.com; site.domain.com would not resolve). And because DNS records are passed sequentually it doesn't interfere with resolution of other subdomains (as long as the wildcard entry comes last).

So from what I have just read, unless there is some reason that I haven't come across (quite possible) ideally HubDNS should support wildcards (valid and indeed potentially useful). So it is perhaps a bug with HubDNS...?

Regardless though I think that you should still probably put the top level domain first (if that's where you chose to serve from). And the wildcard should be a CNAME (otherwise it will hurt your google pagerank - because google will treat each separate subdomain as an individual result and using a wildcard means that you could have an infinate number of subdomains). My reading also suggests that using a wildcard without handling it in Apache (ie telling the web browser that the real domain is domain.com with a 301 - permanent redirect) is not ideal. If you config Apache to redirect and subdomain to domain.com then you won't have users bookmarking whatever.domain.com.

So long and the short of it is that my post above should allow you to achieve your ends (ie have www.domain.com resolve to the same server as domain.com) but the fact that HubDNS doesn't allow wildcard domains appears to be a bug. As such I have registered it here.

Thanks...but "main entry"?

Thanks for reporting it.  It would be good, and, as you say, correct, to implement the wildcard record.  I've got round it by "repatriating" my NS to my ISP and simply pointing a record at my elastic IP for the moment, though would prefer as I said to use the HubDNS (apart from anything else it was much smoother moving to the Hub, which alowed me to set up thezone record even though the NS server change had not yet propagated - my existing ISP makes me wait till it knows the NS server is theirs before I can even add a record!).

But I still am not sure about this "main entry".  I tried adding an A record for "domain.com" in the HubDNS and it appeared to work insofar as at least it displayed an empty/unnamed record with an IP address.  But it never seems to resolve if I did a lookup for "domain.com" to any IP address so it would never get used to route traffic.

I already use the htaccess and rewrite to force people who try and access an address without a DNS entry to the "domain.com" site.

Anyway - no worries.  I've got round it for now.

Jock

Alon Swartz's picture

Sorry for the terribly late reply...

It is possible to setup wildcards as well as naked domains using the Hub's DNS functionality (ie. Amazon Route53). The way I did it:

  • create an A record with a blank hostname pointing to the IP Address.
  • create an CNAME record with hostname set to * and the alias as the naked domain.

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